NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Steve Ralos, Wichita, has been hired to lead the men’s and women’s soccer program at Bethel College, athletic director Diane Flickner announced recently.
Ralos replaces Gerry Sieber, who retired at the end of the 2006 season after 13 years of coaching, and Angela Byrd-Stevenson, who resigned at the end of the 2006 season after three seasons coaching women’s soccer.
A 2003 graduate of Newman University with degrees in sociology and psychology, Ralos was a three-year starter for the Jets soccer program. During his playing career, Newman won the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) tournament three years in a row, 2000-02, qualifying for the NAIA Region IV tournament in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, the Jets won the Region IV tournament and advanced to the quarter-finals of the NAIA national tournament.
Ralos was an MCAC All Conference selection for three consecutive years and received numerous MCAC Player of the Week honors as well as two Region IV Player of the Week awards. In 2000, Ralos was second for the Jets in goals and total points scored. In 2002, he led the team in those categories.
A native of Brisbane, Australia, Ralos was selected in 1992 for the Australian Schoolboys International team (under-17 boys) to play New Zealand. From 1995 to 1998, he played semi-pro soccer for various clubs in Australia’s Queensland Fourex Premier League. In 1996, Ralos toured Europe with a 10-man team of coaches, observing training techniques at A.C. Milan of Italy, the German Institute of Sports at Cologne and Oldham Athletic in England.
Following graduation from Newman, Ralos served as the assistant coach for the Jets men’s soccer program through the 2006 season. During that time, the Jets made three straight Region IV tournament appearances, 2003-05.
From 2000-02, Ralos was director of soccer at Camp Chateaugay in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Since 2002, he has been on the coaching staff of the Air Capital Blazers, part of the Air Capital Soccer Association, for which he serves as director of coaching. Effective in February, Ralos will be Olympic Development Program head soccer coach for the state of Kansas (under-16 boys).
“I am very honored by this appointment and look forward to many good seasons at the helm of the men’s and women’s soccer programs,” Ralos said. “I feel Bethel has the opportunity to be a strong force within the KCAC.”
“I am pleased that Steve Ralos has accepted this position,” Flickner said. “Through his coaching roles within the soccer community in Wichita, his involvement with the Olympic Development Soccer Program as well as the experience he gained as an assistant coach at Newman University, he brings a solid background of coaching that has prepared him for the head coaching position at Bethel College.”
Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. In sports, Bethel is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). For more information, see the Bethel web site at www.bethelks.edu.